I was watching a poor man’s Benny Hinn on television the other night, simultaneously mesmerized by both the production and lack of production to the entire operation, when the televangelist rock star started touching people’s foreheads and calling out, “Release!” before his victims would end up prostrate on the ground.
I’m pretty sure that God was trying to tell me something because when I woke up the next day to discover that the Colorado Rockies had “Released!” Jose Lopez, eating the $3.6 million they agreed to pay him for his services before the season began.
At the moment, it seems ridiculous to think that the Rockies gave up a mid level prospect in Chaz Roe to acquire Lopez from the Seattle Mariners, but Colorado wasn’t completely out of touch with reality. Lopez is a pull hitter, and Safeco Field isn’t exactly the kindest of environments to right handed batters to begin with. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out much better for Lopez at Coors Field: before he was cut Lopez had put up the tenth worst OPS in the league for players with at least 120 plate appearances.
While the Rockies may have had their heads in the right place in acquiring Lopez, the same can’t be said for the $6.5 million that the San Francisco Giants agreed to pay shortstop (and I use the term loosely) Miguel Tejada. The universally panned signing, seen as a panic move after Juan Uribe signed with the Dodgers and Edgar Renteria issued an even more ridiculous asking price, became a worry almost as soon as Tejada put on a Giants jersey. Within a few innings of his first Spring Training game, it was obvious that his Jeteresque range at shortstop wouldn’t provide the defense that San Francisco required with Pat Burrell and Aubrey Huff already in the lineup as regulars.
However, even the most critical of the free agent acquisition likely didn’t anticipate that by June, Tejada would have the worst OPS in the National League. And now rumours are circulating that the Giants may be planning to “Release!” Tejada once Pablo Sandoval becomes healthy enough to leave the Disabled List.
Another veteran on the chopping block appears to be Jorge Posada with the New York Yankees. Posada is in the final year of his four year $52.4 million contract, in which he’s set to make a total of $13.1 million dollars in 2011. While barely getting on base more than 30% of the time, Posada looks like a shadow of his former self at the plate, and several Yankees pundits question whether or not he’ll even make it to the All-Star break.
He has only until the All-Star break, give or take a couple of weeks, to prove he can be a productive member of a winning Yankees team. If he fails in that pursuit, his distinguished career in pinstripes will end. The Yankees would never release Posada before his best friend’s milestone achievement, likely arriving by the end of next week. They don’t want to release him at all, in fact, not after he’s given them so many years of Thurman-like grit. But they will do what they have to do if Posada’s play forces them to do it.
Typically good players with a bad OPS:
- Chone Figgins: .478 OPS
- Vernon Wells: .511 OPS
- Dan Uggla: .542 OPS
- Alex Rios: .553 OPS
- Hideki Matusui: .577 OPS
And The Rest
The Texas Rangers fired Thad Bosely as their hitting coach after only being hired this past offseason. Texas has scored the fourth most runs in the American League.
Yesterday, we learned that the same Texas Rangers that seemed quick to fire Bosely, selected a paralyzed player in the draft as a show of support for the young, former ballplayer. Less publicized, the Houston Astros did the same thing in the 40th round of the draft, selecting Buddy Lamothe.
San Diego Padres first base prospect Anthony Rizzo is getting set to make his Major League debut tonight.
While there’s little doubt that Bryce Harper’s kissgate has been blown way out of proportion, there’s also a pretty good chance he was merely returning the favour when he blew a kiss to a pitcher after hitting a home run.
Arizona Diamondbacks broadcaster Mark Grace was arrested on a DUI.
Finally, from Big League Stew, Nyjer Morgan didn’t even realize he hit a walk off double last night as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the New York Mets: